Qarl posted a new video on his blog to update us on the Mesh Deformer. Qarl says thanks for your support. He points out that he does not have the time to answer everyone’s questions on all the forums he reads. He has noticed several problems with the Deformer being discussed and provided in the feedback.
Body Poking Through
All the cases he has seen these are problems of having used the wrong beginning avatar. If one designed over size clothes for an over sized avatar, then the deformer will make the clothes twice as big. The same problem happens going the other way toward tiny avatars, but twice as small.
The base avatar to use is the one you get when you create a new default female shape. Domino and Gaia both provide copies of that avatar.
Another common problem is the deformer having a problem with geometry of the mesh. I used the above image to show some of the problem the deformer encounters. See #SL Content-Mesh UG Week 2 for more detail on this issue.
Another part of the problem is making a joint area too stiff. In other words, there are not enough vertices for the mesh to bend cleanly. The deformer is never going to be able to fix this type of problem. If you build a stiff joint, too few vertices, then things are going to poke through.
Qarl thinks the real test of the deformer is with clothes made with the deformer in mind. I sort of agree with that. I think any well made clothes are going to work well without poke through. But, having them fit well is a matter of using the correct beginning place.
Qarl covers this at about 3:18 in his latest update video. He feels we definitely need the switch. The problem is with rigged mesh that extends beyond the hand and toes. Hands have morphs to make them work. As the deformer tries to deform the mesh according to the location of the closes vertex that creates some ugly crumpling. Thus a need to be able to turn off the deformation.
Several people have suggested using other parameters with the deformer. Setting for falloff or strength are a couple. These are settings to affect how much deformation the deformer adds.
Qarl feels adding these features at this point is going to slow down the process. It will add discussion and a decision process. He wants to put those off until version 2 and get version 1 released. It makes sense to me. The sooner this feature is in the Linden and TPViewers the sooner we’ll get the advantages of the deformer and people using it.
Since the deformer works off the SL avatar all deformations have the same problems as the avatar. There are some problems the deformer is not going to be able to fix. Only a change in the SL avatar is going to fix some of the problems.
The next release of the code is going to take some time. Qarl’s work schedule has him short of time for the project. He won’t speculate on an ETA for revised code.
There are 4 things he wants to get into the next release.
- The Boolean switch is planned for the next release. This will be a value that is set at the time of upload that tells the system whether it is a mesh to be deformed.
- Qarl talks about speeding up in the setup of the mesh deformation. This sounds like a performance improvement. It will also make subsequent operations on the mesh faster.
- Add a base for the male shape. Right now all mesh clothes are deigned against the female base shape. Adding a male shape will allow clothes to be made using the shape one gets when creating a new shape and selecting male.
- Weighting deformation by not just the latest closest vertex but by averaging several is the plan for the next release. The current process gives rather bumpy results. Averaging the nearest 3 or more vertices and weighting them by distance will likely give a much better result.
Feed back for the next release is to be placed in Qarl’s blog. He feels the JIRA did not work that well. Whatever, since he wants us to use his blog, use his blog.
This information and the alpha code give creators a reasonable idea of what they will get from the completed Mesh Deformer. We also know that we will have a base male and female avatar to begin work from. Those are available now.
I am looking forward to the weighted deformation. I think it will be much smoother than the current deformation.